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Really nice trail although we didn't make it to the top. Right now the first half of the hike is mud and ice. The second half has enough snow to use short snowshoes, and most of us just wore microspikes the entire time. Well marked and great for dogs and people. :)

Monday 2/19/2018

Weather: trail entirely snow-covered, beautiful and sunny, some strong wind at peak but trail until peak was below treeline so wind was generally minimal to moderate, very spotty light rain starting around 3:00 pm

9:45 am - 1:20 pm ascent from Bucklin Trailhead to Killington Peak Lodge
1:50 pm - 3:45 pm descent from Killington Peak Lodge to Bucklin Trailhead

The Bucklin Trailhead is accessible via an easily drivable dirt road that seems unlikely to become difficult to drive even in moderate snow or rain. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead, but there is a board with some trail information and maps.

We followed Bucklin Trail (blue blazes) for about 3.4 miles. Our time on Bucklin Trail was entirely under tree cover and the snow on the trail was generally powdery but packed down enough that big hiking boots would have been sufficient footwear (we wore micro spikes which was also fine). The incline for the first 30-40 minutes was slight, but increased suddenly to moderately strenuous after we crossed the last of a series of bridges.

We turned right on the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail (white blazes) and followed it for 0.2 miles to a wooden cabin with tarp-covered windows. After passing the cabin and some snowboarders who pointed us onward up the Long Trail, the snow became very powdery and the trail was not nearly as packed down as it had been. We continued on the Long Trail for about 100 steps until we hit the sign for the Killington Spur where we turned left (really more like continued straight) following blue blazes. The Spur was short (0.2 miles) and required moderate scrambling up a steeper slope. We sank a bit in the powdery snow, but the slope was steep enough that snowshoes might have been hard to use. The last 200 steps to the summit were a bit icy and required the use of our hands, but the trail was still surrounded by trees which we grabbed to anchor ourselves as needed. Only when we finally reached the summit did we emerge from the trees. There was a set of utility buildings at the summit, but the views off into the distance in all directions were excellent. We continued straight across the summit for about 0.2 miles (past the top of double black diamond Catwalk run) until we hit the Peak Lodge which had a large cafeteria, bathrooms, water, and comfy couches where we rested for 30 minutes while eating divine egg and cheese sandwiches from our B and B (shout out to Hartness House!).

On our descent, we butt slid down the Spur from the summit most of the way to the cabin. Having returned through the most powdery part of the snow cover, we stopped briefly in the cabin to change into dry socks before continuing downward.

All in all, an excellent, not-too-difficult winter hike with beautiful scenery throughout!

Beautiful trail, perfect for snowshoeing. Gradual ascents for the most part and very picturesque. A little confusing at the top where the trail ends and you need to navigate the ski trails to the summit as the walkway traverse was closed. The ski trail I went up was extremely steep and sheer ice but nothing like a good burn at the end to make you appreciate the view, and the excellent chowder in the summit lodge. Don't get that on every 4K peak for sure!

2 months ago

1/10/18 Snowshoed up Bucklin Trail carrying our skis and boots (my pack was 32# I'm sure my friend's weighed considerably more). Came out at the North Ridge Triple lift, traded for ski gear and glided down to our car at the Skyship Gondola parking lot. Planned to go over the top to Peak Lodge but it took us longer than expected to make the trip up and we were running out of daylight. The whole trek took us almost 6 hours. Snow conditions were PERFECT! Forecast said high of 25degrees, we didn't have a thermometer with us. Trail was soft enough for grip and no ice. Step off the packed trail and it dropped at least a couple feet. The alpine forest is dreamy!

It was an easy hike overall, very nice and well marked trail. We went to this hike at 29th, Dec with my 11yo daughter , the temperature was -5F may be lower. My daughter didn't like the idea of winter hike but she did well. It took us around 3hs to get to the peak, because we had to talk to my daughter couple times when she wanted to give up. We took it slow as you expected when hiking with kids. the trail had a lot of snow and was really cold but we didn't need to put crampons on. the peak was beautiful but wind was very strong, we had a quick lunch in the lodge and warmed up. it helped. i didn't like the view with so many lifts and people in the background. won't consider to do it again.

Coming down the trail was easy. It took us around 1h or so. We basically ran down together. Overall it was a beautiful winter hike. 

2 months ago

Nice hike in the winter. A bit of scrambling to get up to the falls. After you pass the falls it's really just a flat forest road. In the winter seems like a snowmobile trail as well.

3 months ago

Short trail, little squishy in some areas but boards laid down on the trail helps. Have to climb at the end of the trail to get the best view of the falls.

Wow, what a challenging winter hike! You will walk through 2 miles of well maintained wood trails, which is a great warm up for the immediate and continuous steep ascent to the summit. It also has its advantages as a good cool down on your way back to the parking lot. You see a stream running through, you will cross it a couple of times as well. There's snow over the mud at the base of the trail now, so you will get a bit dirty. The ascent begins with snow covered ice for a while, then into the snowy woods where the temperature dropped quite a bit. Where the trails intersect near the summit, there's a cabin and a ski trail that goes around it, so you might see people up there even now. The summit was steep and a scramble and in the ice it was much more dangerous that I had planned on. There were no views on this day, but I imagine w/out snow, it's quite beautiful. After our hike, we discovered that there is a warming shelter and/or ski lift restaurant not far from the summit, which would have been great to know about in advance. Anyway, I'd hike this again in the summer or fall for sure & plan to spend more time at the summit.

5-star for the waterfall! In Summer you can walk through the steam to the falls.
3-star for this trail. We just walked the “trail” up past the falls (12/1017) in light snow. Gorgeous views of the falls, but the trail is a simple walk in the woods. No vista at the end, and no designated end point. The trail goes on.... so my advice is to explore around the falls primarily.

Fun rock scramble at the end. Little icy and muddy.

Great hike Rocky at top. Crossing the Long Trail cool sites!

short walk to falls. limited view from the top and so worth the equally short walk to the bottom to get a better view

Starts out easy and then gets much more difficult. Beautiful view from the top!

Short hike to see beautiful falls.

5 months ago

One of my favorites, Part easy, part tough, awesome views. Check out our full write up which includes directions and other things to look out for.

Echoing previous reviewers; easy hike to start then the climb becomes moderate/hard during the last sections. We found heavy clouds during our ascent leading to poor views but that’s legit the course at this elevation! Easy to follow & well marked trail. Parking gets full but plenty of on road options. Plan on a 5 hour round trip in good weather. FYI gondola and lodge is open and also in area of summit leading to increase in foot traffic. One water spicket available near summit.

Definitely worth it. After climbing and appreciating the waterfall from above, you must go down, surrounding the river, and see it from below. A short hike for all the family.

Short, surprising treat at the top. Worth the stop!

Great hike --- well marked moderate trail. I took trail upward from cabin (on left) so avoided inadvertently any scrambling; instead just walked up gondola steps to top. My dog hated the metal steps though -- caught a toe nail in them. Too bad gondola was running.

Great hike,moderate most of the hike but strenuous towards the last .25 miles. A good 5 hour round trip. Finally when you crawl to the top you are not the only ones there, the Gondola riders are there looking down at you. Will do it again

6 months ago

Didn't make it far because there is a fairly steep hill near the start the wife didnt want to go up so I can't comment on the whole trail. The waterfall was beautiful and there are a bunch of places to climb around.

It's a nice trail, but what's left unsaid is that after the Cooper cabin marker, there's another 1.4 mile hike up to the top of the mountain. That makes it 4.8 miles up not the 3.4 advertised. The last mile and a half is strenuous even though it's a moderate trail.

my family hiked and fished great time

This was a great hike. Long incline with some fun rocks to climb right at the end resulting in a perfect view with a bar at the top. Good time. This was the first peak for the North End Mountain Club.

6 months ago

Great waterfall within a few minutes of entering the trail head. Good and easy walk even a wet day.

6 months ago

Nice easy hike. Did this on a rainy day which enhanced the falls and stream.

Extremely well kept and maintained trail overall. Deceptive at the beginning and can get quite strenuous the last half. Absolutely beautiful views from the top, though was quite crowded when we arrived.
I would give yourself some time for the hike. Atleast 3-4 hrs total for intermediate level hikers.

Amazing views at the top of Vermonts second tallest mountain. Again I don't know who rates these things but I would have rated this hard. The first two miles are a pleasant stroll through the woods as the trail loosely follows the brook. The rest of the way is brutally uphill particularly the last 0.2 mile stretch which almost resembles rock climbing from Cooper Cabin (which is sadly in poor shape due to skiers vandalizing it in the winter according to one journal entry). The biggest downside is lots of people at the top mostly from coming up the gondola.

Wow. These falls are amazing!!

We took this with our 7 year old and started in an off grid cabin on Wheelerville Road. It is as everyone says, nice, long warm up and then just at the opening by the waterfall, about 2 miles in, it turns up, and once it turns up it continues steeply until the summit. Once you reach Cooper Lodge you are almost there, just the scramble left, which our kid went at with great energy after being a little tired on the way up. Tons of people at the top, mostly Gondola people, so don't expect tranquility, but it's an amazing vista none-the-less. On the way down stop at the opening again and take a dip just up stream in a nice deep pool.

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